If you passed by Harrods’ windows, you may have noticed a sculpture representing the bust of a bishop. Let me introduce him to you. It’s Saint Gennaro, Bishop and patron saint of Naples and protagonist of one of the most mysterious annual miracles of the Catholic Church: the liquefaction of a vial of his blood which happens every year on the first Saturday of May and on September 19, the saint’s feast day.
He is well known among Catholics, from his native Napoli to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York’s Little Italy where every year the Italian community hosts an 11 day celebration, honoring the Saint’s statue which is hosted in the Most Precious Blood Church and is taken through the streets of Little Italy, where people party in the street with parades and games and food vendors sell typical food like zeppole,cannoli,and sausages. The Saint Gennaro celebration is considered New York City’s biggest street event.
It’s no wonder then, that Neapolitan artist Lello Esposito has conquered hearts with his work not only in Italy and the USA but around the world. Considered to be in primis the Ambassador of Neapolitan art in the world, Lello uses purely Neapolitan symbols like San Gennaro, Pulcinella, the lucky horn, Vesuvius and the egg in his representation. In a career spanning 30 years, he has succeeded in realising an evolution of those symbolic meanings through different dimensions and artistic techniques. The cultural and artistic experimentation pass through an interpretation of traditions and an in-depth research of archetypes and the symbols of the city of Naples, embedding cultural beliefs of centenary traditions and epitomizing those into material and shapes of different natures like bronze, aluminum and lava stone from Vesuvius. “Identity and Metamorphosis” is his maxim and the start of his voyage to discover the essence of a city’s multicentenary culture where different dominating populations have left a bit of their personality, giving life to one of the most vibrant Italian sub-cultures, the Neapolitan.
If you have missed Lello’s art at the Biennale di Venezia or you haven’t passed by Harrods windows recently, luxury Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo is hosting PORTA SAN GENNARO, the latest exhibition by Lello Esposito, where majestic Saint Gennaro’s statues, colorful terracotta heads and aluminum sticks transform the hotel atrium into a pulsating Neapolitan culture museum. What better way to live the Saint Gennaro atmosphere on the patron’s day?
Determined to follow his mission to share with the world the marvels and traditions of Neapolitan culture and art, in addition to his Naples and New York studios, Lello will open his new creative space on London’s New Bond Street by the end of 2013.
Loving discovering art, culture and traditions from other countries? Speaking the language is the best weapon to get embedded into the essence of a country. If you feel the call for the Italian language, try the Rosetta Stone Italian FREE demo.
Arrivederci alla prossima!